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Stolen U-Haul Filled With East Bay Family's Belongings Recovered In Oakland

CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) -- A U-Haul vehicle containing the possessions of an East Bay family that was stolen this past weekend has been found in Oakland with at least some of the contents intact, according to authorities.

The family's plans to move to Utah were put on hold after the U-Haul moving truck packed with their personal belongings was stolen early Saturday morning in front of their Castro Valley home.

Luke and Tiffany Purcell and their two children were planning to leave for Utah this weekend. Their moving van was packed, and they had planned to finish up vacating their Cameron Street residence this weekend to head back to Utah, where they once lived.

Luke Purcell said the moving van, a 20-foot-long U-Haul truck, was last seen driving west on Grove Way near Trader Joe's in Castro Valley at approximately 2:15 a.m. It was stolen sometime after midnight.

Authorities in the East Bay including the Alameda County Sheriff's Office had been searching for the U-Haul van since its theft was reported.

Purcell said he and his wife and family have lived in Castro Valley for the last eight years, and this is the first time that they have been victims of a crime.

"I just want our personal belongings back," Purcell said. "I don't care about the furniture or anything else."

Besides furniture and other property, he said there were personal family heirlooms that were in the truck, belongings that would not be
important to anyone else.

"Life is already hard enough, especially nowadays," Purcell added.

Monday evening, Alameda County Sheriff's Office tweeted that the vehicle had been found in Oakland by Oakland police.

"It appears pretty full, so we are hopeful all of their personal family belongings are still inside," the post read.

The sheriff later tweeted an update, saying "the Castro Valley family's belongings have been ransacked," though some of the heirlooms that were feared lost had been found intact.

The sheriff's office thanked Oakland police for their help and asked anyone with information about the theft to call authorities at 510-667-7721

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